Housebreaks last December

Sep 20th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Housebreaks last December

Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience.... we rented a great villa near Cruz Bay for a week last December. We left only the screendoors closed at night, not locked, and during the night while we were sleeping right there, someone opened the screens and took the cash from my husband's wallet. From that night on we locked all screen and glass doors, but two nights later they cut the screens in an attempt to gain access. Also, the couple in the villa next door lost $750 in the same incident. So, as much as we love St. John, heed the advice and LOCK ALL DOORS!!
ZJean is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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I don't know where you live, but don't you lock the doors/windows at home? What would make anyone think they are any safer on an island than anywhere else?

In fact, there is probably less safety, due to the transient nature of a hotel stay. You (and the criminal) can be very anonymous.
Leona is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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And you had a revelation this morning to warn someone of something that happened 10 months ago. On this and how many other message boards? I have now seen two so far this morning. Why so late?

RonUSVI is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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We DID discuss this after it happened last December! Why am I mentioning it again? Because we're going back again this December! At the time the police came, took a report, dusted for fingerprints, we called the rental company, but nothing ever came of it. We feel lucky to have only lost $50, but next-door wasn't so lucky. And, in answer to the other question, yes, at home we do lock doors year-round but not screens in the summer. At our St. John villa the screen doors were together but not locked. We were told it is a VERY SAFE island (and I still believe it is) and so we never in a million years would have expected an intruder into our bedroom! Likewise, the rental company was equally surprised and had never had such a thing occur before.
ZJean is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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It's true about the safety, but you do need to be diligent to do your part. No matter where in the world I am, I do.

RonUSVI is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Just curious. Do any of these villas have safes?
bosoco is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Growing up in NJ, we never locked our doors at night. We would come home late, and I don't think we ever needed a key. Today, I lock my doors up even when I am home during the day. I think it is just a different world than 20 years ago.
I remember going to the Bahamas on our honeymoon 17 years ago and leaving the sliding door open to listen to the ocean sounds while we slept. I wouldn't do that today.
Too bad.
girlonthego is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Man, tough crowd on this board.
Kath is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Kath, I couldn't agree with you more, and I'm glad you said what you did. What is wrong with asking or questioning in a nice way. I love this board and all the travel advice posted. When I post, it is My experience and MY opinions I am giving. I don't expect or want everyone to agree with me. All I want is honesty.

I am going to post a report on Peter Island. I welcome criticism, other opinions, and suggestions. My concern is a new poster that gets blasted, and may never return. All of us could miss out on valuable information.

Be kind. Owa
Sep 20th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
ZJean: Please give us a better description of the location of the villa. Cruz Bay is a relatively populated,busy spot. Although, you will experience robbery and robbery attempts just about anywhere. St. John still has a very low crime rate compared to most places on earth, but you still have to be careful. Thanks for the experience. It serves as a reminder of better safe than sorry.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Tuxedocat: Our villa was high up on a hill overlooking Great Cruz Bay and if you looked down to your right, you'd see the Westin. I don't know the name of the road. Yes, all villas have safes, and, yes, we used it, but it is still uncomfortable to know a stranger came into your bedroom. EEEKKK! We could see the clay footprints all around the pool, so we know that was the access point.
ZJean is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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I agree this is a tough crowd. Thanks for the warning/info ZJean.
mnag is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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To reply to your inquiry directly; yes this has happened to us - and on St. John. Several years ago we rented a studio cottage on Gifft Hill (this was our second stay). The parking space was across the road from the cottage and anyone driving down Gifft Hill Road could see that the cottage was probably empty if the car was not in its regular spot. Yes we did lock the doors when we left. We went to the beach on the day before we were going home. On our return, I noticed that something was wrong. The bed was messed up a bit and some other things seemed askew. On further investigation, we realized that someone had come in through the front door which although had been locked when we left, had a very inadequate lock, the sort one would use on an indoor room and which could be opened easily with a credit card. It is our practice to travel with only a small amount of cash and as little as possible of value. They stole my husband's used electric shaver, a portable radio, my new lace tablecloth that I had just bought in St. Thomas and a couple of pairs of inexpensive earrings. The police investigated and told us that the house was extremely insecure and that there had been a raft of burglaries in the area. I wondered what would have happened to me if it was the previous day when my husband went into Cruz Bay without me, leaving the parking spot empty. I would have surprised the thieves and perhaps, been the victim of a more serious crime. We spent the rest of the day looking for another cottage for our return the following winter. We have been back to St. John every year since and nothing like this has happened again. Use common sense and be vigilant. This can happen anywhere.
ruthie1 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Have your villa rental agency provide night security 6pm-6am. Having lived on Chocolate Hole, it's inexpensive to do and well worth the aggro...
tivertonhouse is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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Tivertonhouse: what's night security? Please describe and about how much does it cost? ZJean: That road is Great Cruz Bay road and we've stayed at a villa there. While we did not have any problems, it is an area with lots of nice villas and unfortunately, some of them are not well-protected and harken back to the days when there weren't that many people on St. John. I guess the lesson is to ask the rental agency if the villa has proper security. Our villa was very open to the potential intruder. I guess we just lucked out that no prowlers came by.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Tux: Don't know current rates on St.John. We used to have a man come in at 6-7pm and stay til 6am night morning to walk grounds/patrol and 'dissuade'
any interlopers. Since it's more remote and further out, Cruz Bay villas in recent years seem to have taken the brunt of break-ins.
tivertonhouse is offline  
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